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February 26, 2006

LA's DA as three-strikes reformer

In 2004, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley opposed Proposition 66, the state initiative that would have amended California's harsh three-strikes law.   But now, as detailed in this opinion piece, DA Cooley is the champion of new proposal to reform the three-strikes law.  Cooley's commentary provides effective background on California's three-strikes history, and explains his interest in a reform initiative known as The Three Strikes Reform Act of 2006:

Experience has revealed some inequities in the original law. The best way to ensure that the three-strikes law retains public support and confidence is to make modifications that will dispense justice while preserving the valuable public safety features of the law.

The Three Strikes Reform Act of 2006 is the joint product of prosecutors, private attorneys and other interested parties working together to ensure a realistic approach to prevent unjust sentencing without compromising the ability to remove serious and dangerous recidivist criminals from our communities....

The criminal justice system needs to retain the very beneficial provisions of the three-strikes law. However, the state should not allow the misallocation of limited penal resources by having life prison sentences for those who do not pose a serious criminal threat to society.  The punishment should fit the crime.  California can assure public safety and achieve the interests of justice in all counties and courts with The Three Strikes Reform Act of 2006.

February 26, 2006 at 07:02 PM | Permalink

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